Many have watched the show Shark Tank, where contestants pitch products and businesses in hopes of garnering big bucks. But more need to know about the Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition, sponsored by AT&T, taking place at BE’s 2016 Entrepreneur’s Summit. When pitching your idea or business, you should be the subject matter expert for your industry. Think about it like this, the judges should not know more about your industry than you! Understand how big your market is. Is it a multimillion- or even billion-dollar market? Who are the major players in your space? What is your competitive advantage? No one likes to hear an elevator pitch that is confusing and hard to follow. Your 60-second elevator pitch should always tell a good story. Your story should include:
- An introduction: Who are you and who are your team members?
- Information about your market
- The problem or pain you are solving, your solution—what product, service, or technology you are offering
- Your business model: How will you make money?
- Customer acquisition: How are you going to acquire customers?
- How much money do you need, or what will you use the money for?
And the big winner of this year’s Elevator Pitch Competition was Blendoor, a mobile job-matching app that incorporates a blind-recruiting strategy to mitigate unconscious bias and to increase diversity at top tech companies. Think ‘anti-Tinder’ for job search, connecting qualified women, minorities, veterans, LGBTQ, and disabled candidates, says founder and CEO Stephanie Lampkin, who walked away with the grand prize of $10,000 and coaching sessions with entrepreneur, author, and tech guru Ramon Ray.
Her story: It was after a 12-year career in tech that Lampkin, 31, decided to create Blendoor to address unconscious bias. “I had interviewed at Google in New York and was told I only qualified for a marketing role; I was deemed not technical enough,” explains the Stanford engineer, who started coding at age 13, holds an M.B.A. from MIT, and spent five years at Microsoft.
In addition to making matches, Blendoor leverages big data to equip candidates with career development opportunities that better aligns them to land their dream job.